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Gladys Knight Defends Decision To Sing National Anthem At Super Bowl

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Facing some backlash after announcing plans to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, Gladys Knight defended her decision to perform in a statement to Variety.

Knight was responding after Variety asked the "Midnight Train to Georgia" singer about her stance on the NFL's treatment of Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who created controversy in 2016 after he started kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality in the U.S.

"I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice," Knight wrote. "It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.

"I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice," she added. "I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us."

Meanwhile, Maroon 5 have been tapped to play at halftime of this year's Super Bowl along with rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi.

Several A-list artists, including Rihanna, Adele, JAY-Z and Cardi B, reportedly rejected the invitation to perform at halftime to show their support with Kaepernick.

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